June 21, 2007
Ok…it was a perfect day weather-wise and with 275 folks showing up to get wet, hot and pooped. The biggest decision was wet suit or no wetsuit? I know Sue was trying to decide since water was warm and very calm until people start thrashing and struggling for a spot (which can be very intimidating.) Sue can tell you how the swim went for her.
No wetsuit for me. I somehow was put into the first wave of very svelt, muscle-ly handsome guys (and gals!) so I tried to seed myself accordingly for survival. I opted to be on the outside middle which fast became a muddled crowded squisshy mess for about 5 minutes with several hesitant swimmers looking up out of water (NOT a good idea in a beginning swim race) managed to weasle out into calmer surroundings and pushed forward…God this swim seems longer than couple years ago!
Finally on land to the bike yeah! Best part. T1 was good and off I went a little disorientated and veered off onto grassy part side of road (remember Lance in ! the tour a few years ago?) crap. managed to regain control (thanks to MTB experience!) back on road and zoom on nice flat course for about 8 miles. Being in first wave you end up biking with a billion pro-ish bikers passing you like nuthin’. No worries, mostly guys (I think) ride good averaged 20mph which is great for me (no drafting aloud) ) until the hill. Crap. Survived.
On to run my weakness but managed to run with a great young gal who we pushed together and chatted about pleasant things (Her mom who was a couple years younger than me was doing race also!) yeah..finish! Got first in age group (50-54) which is first for me but very close with a couple other ladies. So Sue did GREAT for first tri and soon will kick butts after a little work on the swim! The times of the first several winners were amazing and can’t imagine how they do it!
June 21, 2007
Wow! I finally raced my mountain bike again and I was immediately reminded of how painful mountain bike racing is…all out, right from the gun!
Some of you may know that I had a rough season last year due to a knee injury. I had knee surgery in October and have worked hard to get the knee back in racing shape again. Until this weekend I’ve just been riding road and hitting a few road races like Gila, Tri Peaks, and the Iron Horse. After putting myself in a serious hole of exhaustion from work, school, training, travel, and racing leading up to the Iron Horse, I took a full SEVEN days completely off the bike and then decided it was finally time to start mountain bike riding again. So, I did two MTB rides over the last couple weeks, decided the knee was ready, and headed to Deer Valley for my first mountain bike race since the Brian Head NMBS race last summer.
It was wonderful to finally hook up with the team – to catch up with the girls from last year, to meet the girls new to the team this year, and to see Tim, the mechanic extraordinaire, again. I drove to Utah Friday and pre-rode the course that afternoon. Everything felt good and I was excited to race the next morning. However, I was also a little anxious to see how I would actually race since Friday’s pre-ride was only my 4th mountain bike ride since last September…yikes!
Well, it turns out that I did remember how to race my mountain bike and it was pretty darn fun, in that super sick sort of painful way. Out of almost sixty starters, I was called to the line 3rd to last since this was my first race of the year. I couldn’t even spot a couple of my fellow Bellas from the waaaaaaay back of the field. The race immediately sent us up about a ½ mile fire road climb before hitting the singletrack, so I knew I needed to start strong and just hoped there would not be the usual back-of-the-field start line crash. The NMBS folks played their typical small collection of really bad tunes, shot the gun, and sent us off to ZZ Top’s “She’s got legs….and she knows how to use ‘em” – lovely. A couple of girls barely stayed upright, but amazingly there was no start-line crash and we were off. At the top of the climb a ½ mile later, I had managed to move up about 35 spots and was sitting in the low twenties – sweet! I was just bummed the climb wasn’t longer so I could have kept moving up.
Then the course sends you on almost seven solid miles of tight singletrack: super fast, tight, fun stuff, and also lots of switchback climbing singletrack. It really is an absolute blast, but once you do hit that singletrack, it’s pretty difficult to make a lot of passing progress from that point forward. So, I went back and forth with a few girls but maintained my position for the first lap. At the end of the first lap, I grabbed my gel flask, put it in my mouth to open it and get some nourishment, and I broke the top completely off in my mouth! This was not good since gel is the only thing I can eat in a MTB race and was, therefore, the only thing I brought with me! So, I ventured on to finish two more laps in the heat with no food – not the best situation to be in. I hit the second lap and climbed well again, passing a handful of riders. I maintained good position again throughout the second lap, but was definitely feeling the heat and lack of food. All I could think about was that Coke feed waiting for me at the start of the 3rd lap. Let me tell you, that ice cold Coke was the most heavenly thing I could have possibly had at that moment. And I drank the entire bottle up the climb that 3rd lap, which again left me with nothing to eat or drink for the remaining seven miles. Well, plain and simple, I just ran out of steam on the final lap and completely faded; my performance over the last 1/3 of the lap was downright sad. I lost about five or six spots and ended up in 27th. I must have looked pretty pathetic at the finish because a guy passing out giant cold Gatorades handed me one, then took it back, and said “here, let me open that for you”. I didn’t mind.
What a day. Mountain bike racing is tough. My legs hurt and I coughed up dust for a solid 24 hours afterwards. It was fun, though.
Huge congrats to the other VB-K racers! We managed to get a top ten finish in every single discipline in the Pro field over the weekend…booyah!
~ Thanks to Kimber for arranging all of our host housing!
~ Thanks to the Robinsons for hosting Kristin and I and for all the puppy love from Duncan!
~ Thanks to the Canfields for the fantastic post-race BBQ and for all the skeleton stories…you skeleton racers are crazy!
~ Thanks to Tim for taking such good care of SO MANY of us!
~ Thanks to the awesome VB-K downhill girls who cheered us on and then kicked butt in their own races!
June 21, 2007
Have you ever had one of those weeks where everything was falling apart and you weren’t sure you should even hop on the plane to go race for fear it may not make it? This was my week prior to Deer Valley. A couple of weeks ago I re-injured my knee which was just mentally hard for me to take and I couldn’t put in the training I needed. I knew I would race anyways because I had already purchased plane tickets and registered. So then last friday night Noah woke up in the middle of the night with the stomach flew. Kris came down with it Saturday and me Sunday.
So by Tuesday night I had lost 10 lbs. Lucky for me I recovered fairly fast, Kris was unlucky and was still fighting it Thursday when we left. Thursday morning (the day we were to leave) I woke up with a head cold and a hamstring that was as solid as concrete. I was really feeling that the forces that be were not with me, I was a train wreck. We got on the plane anyways and made it to Salt Lake. I chose to not race the Super D to conserve my energy. I must say my attitude wasn’t the greatest. I was excited to be around all the Bellas because they all have such a great presence/attitude and I was hoping it would be infectious (since I seem to catch everything). Our tires finally came from Schwalbe so I had Tim put on the Racing Ralphs and then pre rode with Jen and Kristin which was fun and the new tires were awsome and my bike felt great.
We got done pre-riding and Jen gave me some words of encouragement , she said I had nothing to worry about for the race on Saturday (thanks Jen). It really made me feel better because at that point I wasn’t sure why I was entered in a Pro XC race with the year I have had. So Saturday morning I woke up and decided I was going to make the best of it. I took off for my pre race warm up and oddly enough I felt awsome. Not really sure how but I felt great. I got to the start line. I was going to try someting new and try and start more conservatively. I was towards the end of the pack by the halfway point. I think someone said 45th. I didn’t really care because I wasn’t last and the course is so much fun. So I just kept on riding and passing people.
In the second and third lap I probably should have been more aggresive at passing people becuase I kept getting stuck behind girls on the singletrack. So the entire race I just kept moving up. My knee was great ( I had a shot of Kenalog on Wednesday) and my attitude was the best it has been in years. The third lap I realized I was doing alright and really wanted to beat last years time. About 1/2 way through the lap I was getting ready to pass 2 more girls and a bee decided to take residence in my jersey and kept stinging me.
I finally had to stop to find it and get it out, I lost the girls unfortunatley. So I worked hard and pushed to the finish for 35th place and 9 minutes faster that last year. My best placing at an NMBS race ever. So….not too shabby. My confidence restored and attitude renewed. So I guess I learned that attitude really is everything. I know from here my season will be better and hopefully I will see that top 25 placing I have been training hard for.
June 20, 2007
Prairie City Race Series #11, CA
10th, Yvette Crockell, Sport Women 35+
19th, Cayla Crockell, Kids Race 9 & under
June 19, 2007
Stella Carey snags a third at Folsom Crit
Check out some pics from Folsom and Nevada City Classic
June 18, 2007
Hy-Vee Age Group Triathlon
ITU World Cup
Des Moines, IA
June 17, 2007
This was the first year that Des Moines has hosted an event of this size, so I came expecting the worst. After doing the Denver Danskin a couple of years ago, I have become pretty aware of how organized a large event has to be. And if it isn’t, how bad it can be (ie. Denver Danskin).
I was pleasantly surprised by how cute downtown Des Moines is. The Gray’s Lake area where the swim and transition area were is a beautiful, shaded lake. The transition was nicely organized with assigned places. We had to check in our bikes the night before. I didn’t really like the idea of my baby spending the night outside without me, but I sucked it up and dropped it off.
4 am. The wake up call in the hotel rings. I haven’t raced in a couple of seasons, so I forgot how early 4 am is.
4:30 am – TRAFFIC! As usual, a big long line to get into the parking. I had timed the drive the day before and added time for traffic, but I didn’t add enough. I had to ditch the car and walk in. I was lucky enough to have a driver that could park the car.
5:30 am – Arrive at the transition. Rush to put everything in place, get my timing chip, and get in the water before the swim warmup closed.
After racing exclusively in Colorado, I had a hard time believing that the water temp was really 80 degrees! My plan was to take it easy. I really needed to stay at about 85% effort for the swim and bike to complete the run. I tend to get over anxious with the mass start and start out too fast.
The start, as usual, was all hands and feet. But everyone settled into place by the first bouy. I was able to sight good lines without interrupting my stroke for most of the swim. I stayed within my planned perceived effort and felt fresh coming out of the swim. For once I was thinking the whole way “This feels great!”
Did I mention how fabulous it is to come out of the water onto carpet and not have to run through sand? Sweeeeet!
Trans 1 went smooth. I only wish I could run better in bike cleats. I still haven’t worked out the “cleats already attached to the pedals” thing yet.
The bike course was pretty fast and relatively flat. Only one major hill. Very little wind (especially for Iowa). The first 3 miles were pretty congested with racers. That pesky no draft rule is difficult to follow when you’re packed in like sardines.
Top Ten Insights on the Bike
10. Zipp Disc wheels sound sweet as they are *passing* you.
9. I stayed in my planned perceived effort and still had a good mph average.
8. My front wheel is just slightly out of true.
7. Passing men feels good and makes them mad.
6. There is a really cool looking vintage clothing store in downtown Des Moines.
5. This is not the Tour, so why is there a guy in the devil suit?
4. This is awesome! I love racing!!
3. That fun downhill on the way out? Oh yeah, not so fun on the way back.
2. Ladies crossing the street in front of racers think that if they bury their heads and don’t look at you, you aren’t there. Luckily there was room to swerve.
1. I love racing!
Ick! My least favorite part. I just wanted to get through it. Since most of it is a blur, I will keep it short. Very few hills (except the big on at the finish line), mostly cloudy skies, well stocked aid stations. All I can say is that I ran the whole thing (only the 2nd 10K I’ve ever run). Near the end, my goals kept getting shorter. “Just make it to the turn in a mile, just make it to the next block, just make it to the stop sign, just put one foot in front of the other”
Des Moines put on a great show, even for the age groupers! I’ll definitely do this one again if it comes back.
VB Tri Kit rocks! I LOVE POCKETS!! Even if they slow down the swim a bit.
I ended with a PR by 30 minutes! sweeeeetttt. . .
I have more pics on my blog at http://www.twobarnfarm.com
June 17, 2007
Tour of Nevada City, CA
15th, Sarah Kerlin, Women
16th, Barbara Howe, Women
17th, Stella Carey, Women
27th, Natasha Perry, Women
June 17, 2007
Hy-Vee Triathlon, Des Moines, IA
55th, Regan Osborne, Women 30-34
June 16, 2007
Folsom Criterium, CA
3rd, Stella Carey, Women 1/2/3
9th, Angela Aldrich, Women 1/2/3
14th, Natasha Perry, Women 1/2/3
22nd, Sabine Dukes, Women 1/2/3
23rd, Heidi Horton, Women 1/2/3
25th, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women 1/2/3
June 15, 2007
Deer Valley (NMBS #4), Park City, UT
5th, Allie Burch, Pro Women
7th, Alex Fabbro, Pro Women
6th, Kathleen Bortolussi, Open Women
7th, Renee Ridgley, Open Women
10th, Kristen Danielson, Pro Women
23rd, Shannon Gibson, Pro Women
27th, Noel Weddle, Pro Women
28th, Jennifer Tilley, Pro Women
35th, Shannon Holden, Pro Women
39th, Alex Fabbro, Pro Women
43rd, Rebecca Gross, Pro Women
4th, Stephanie White, Expert Women, Jr.
4th, Renee Ridgley, Expert Women, 19-29
3rd, Kathleen Bortolussi, Expert Women, 40+
10th, Shannon Gibson, Pro Women
30th, Jennifer Tilley, Pro Women
33rd, Kristen Danielson, Pro Women
38th, Rebecca Gross, Pro Women
10th, Sara Johnson, Pro Women
15th, Allie Burch, Pro Women